Clara Amfo InterviewCategory: Interview
Can you bake?
I thought I could, but arriving here at the tent with all the other bakers, and going in there with the judges and everything, you really begin to question if you have the right to be here!
You’ve confessed to having a sweet tooth. Does that help with a show like this?
Oh I’ve got a really sweet tooth. I hate the fact that I love sugar so much. Actually, no I don’t. I love loving sugar.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I think my strength is my creativity. And I’m really prepared to have a go at things. My weakness is my maths. I had to take maths GCSE twice, so make of that what you will.
Are you a fan of the show?
I’m a huge fan of the show. It’s so good-natured, and so comforting. It’s sort of like your favourite old comfy jumper. I’ve got so much respect for every single person who appears on this show now. You know, when you’re at home, and you’re shouting at the telly “No, do this. Don’t do that. Do it quicker.” But when you’ve been in here, you know it’s a very, very different experience. I’m friendly with Nadiya Hussain, we met at the NTA’s a few years back and she promised to make me a red velvet cake, to be honest I begged her to. She is so wonderfully busy and successful, so I will stay waiting hopefully.
You’ve appeared on Celebrity Masterchef. How did you get on?
That was quite intense! I hope to redeem myself to anyone who saw me try to make a sweet dish from scratch.
It didn’t go well then?
Oh god no. I was the first one out. I was out the door!
In terms of these types of show, is anything as scary as Strictly?
That was the most brilliant, scary but most exhilarating experience ever. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I did it. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. But this appears to be a touch more relaxed – at least I don’t have to worry about anything falling out of a sequinned top!
What’s the worst thing you could be asked to make in the competition?
I’d be really unhappy if I was asked to bake macaroons. They’re not really my idea of a sweet treat anyway, and they seem so complex to make. That’s a whole level of stress I could do without.
If you could pick one pop star to help you out in the tent, who would it be?
That’s a really good question. I think I’d go with Little Mix, because they’re great, and also I’d have three extra pairs of hands to help me out, also Jade was Star Baker when she was on, so that would be a great advantage.
Have you done anything in the way of practice or preparation for the competition?
I tried doing my biscuits, but it’s not really the same as doing it at home. You’re in your own kitchen, and you’re maybe messaging your mates or you’ll put on a podcast, it’s nothing like having to perform under pressure in THE tent.
Do you get sent a lot of cakes and baked goods because you’re on the radio?
Oh god yeah, everybody knows the way to my heart is through cakes and sweet stuff. I got sent a red velvet cake by a singer and it had piped on it in beautiful red icing, “When I’m mad, I eat cake”.
Is it intimidating, working in front of the judges?
Oh yeah, definitely. The intensity of Paul’s eyes, the bright colours of Prue’s glasses frames, it’s really intimidating!
Why is SU2C important to you?
In the past few years, four lovely women that I know, of my age, have been diagnosed with cancer, and it really hit home to me how universal and cruel cancer is. It doesn’t discriminate between class, or gender, or race, or sexuality, it can happen to anyone. The women that I’m talking about are such vibrant, incredible people, and the thought of them not being around is… well, you just don’t want to think about it. And it’s not just the person with the illness, it affects everyone around them that loves them. That’s why Stand Up to Cancer is so important – we need to fund research that could be life-saving.
You’ve said that the thing about cooking that annoys you is that it delays the eating. Are you just planning on making a five-minute show-stopper and then sitting and eating it for several hours?
Oh no! I’m going to plan and time everything very, very well, because every second counts. I have said that about cooking, but technically baking falls into a different category. I find baking such a joy, because I get to look forward to the sweet treat at the end of the rainbow.